Nepal sees 1,635 trekkers after the earthquake

Even though the number of foreign tourists has gone down drastically after the devastating earthquake of April 25, adventure lovers are still enjoying trekking in the mountains of Nepal.

Altogether 1,635 foreign tourists enjoyed trekking trips in Nepal after the earthquake till August 18, statistics of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) shows.According to the statistics, 296 free individual trekkers (FITs) have enjoyed trekking trips in Nepal after the earthquake.

The number of trekkers, however, is down by 80 percent compared to figures of same period last year. In the same period last year, NTB and TAAN had issued 8,854 TIMS cards.NTB issues TIMS cards to FITs, while TAAN distributes TIMS cards to trekkers traveling in groups.

NTB issued 35 TIMS cards in May, 64 in June, 96 in July and 100 till August 18. It had issued 558 TIMS cards in May, 431 in July and 566 in August. NTB doesn’t have figures of June last year as its daily activities were affected in the month due to protest of Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC).”

“Nepal has not closed any trekking area after the earthquake. We have been providing TIMS cards to interested trekker”,” Ramesh Adhikari, chief administrator of NTB, said” “After the earthquake, Annapurna Region has become the most preferred destination of trekker”.”

Similarly, TAAN has issued 1,339 TIMS card after the earthquake. It issued 590 TIMS cards in May, 143 in June, 340 in July and 266 till August 18. The association had issued 3,150 TIMS cards in May, 593 in June, 1,627 in July and 1,929 in August.”

“It is good to note that adventure lovers are still trekking in Nepal in the post-quake situation that too in monsoon,” Adhikari said, “We are working to normalize the life of the people in major trekking areas. Our focus is on reconstruction and maintenance of trails and bridges so that people can trek in Nepal without any hassles in the coming seas”n.” He also said even local community of different trekking areas has taken initiative to rehabilitate trails and welcome tourists.

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, with the help of international agencies like World Bank and Samarth, has carried out assessment of trekking trails in Everest and Annapurna regions. Miyamoto International, a global engineering firm, carried out assessments of trails in both the regions and declared that most of the trails there are unaffected by trek and safe to visit.

Sagar Pandey, general secretary of TAAN, said they were planning series of events for the revival of trekking in Nepal. For the coming New Year, we are planning ‘New Year Walk in Langtang Region’ and Anniversary Walk on April 25 in one trekking area,” Pandey said”. “Nepal Adventure Week, which is being held in October, will help in promotion of adventure tourism as the event will see participation of representatives from different international tour operators.”

source:republica,18 august 2015